In reality, if you check out the show in reruns -- and happily, it's actually stuck around in reruns after 50 years, unlike most of the others -- you'll see that this was a sly, almost-subversive program for adults that was often very intelligent and wildly clever, filled with sophisticated humor...just wrapped in cornball hokum for those who weren't paying close attention. It's not just me who recognizes this, of course -- "Amiable madness" is the way a recent article and appreciation on the very good AV Club website described the program. Green Acres was created by Jay Sommers who in many knowing-circles has been credited for the show's bizarre creativity. It starred Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, and featured a cast that was dry as sand in their lunacy.
To show what I meant to my friend, I went online to track down some clips. I'll show a bunch more of the gems upcoming, perhaps tomorrow, but for now this is an absolutely great 10-minute montage of totally clever ways that Green Acres broke "the fourth wall" with nothing more than just the opening credits.
Because the montage deals with the opening credits, I thought it was best first to post the main theme song, so that people unfamiliar with the show have a perspective on it all. (The lyrics have been added over, so you can sing along...)
And now, here is what the show regularly did with the opening credits that came after -- not every week, since they mixed things up enough to keep audiences on their toes. But every once in a while they'd throw these in to make sure you were all in on the joke.
By the way, it isn't just that they did something like this so often, or that they were generally very funny, but that they were able to come up with SO MANY clever ways to make these jokes.